Busman reaches his stop

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Ain’t it something, all this attention? I’m no doctor or lawyer. I’m just an old bus maintenance man. Nothin’ special.” – Arthur Winston Wrong, Arthur. You’re someone special. Very special. On the 22nd of this month you’re turning 100, and how are you celebrating? You’re finally retiring from the job you’ve held for the last 73 years – first cleaning streetcars, then buses in this city. You blew by all the traditional retirement ages still working full time for the Metropolitan Transit Authority as a service attendant leader with a crew of 11 employees. Cleaning, maintaining and refueling MTA buses at Division 5 in the South Bay – a division they named the Arthur Winston Division in 1997 when you were only 91. You’ve been working solid for more than 90 years, starting as a boy picking cotton in Oklahoma where you were born in 1906. Yes, you’re something special. So why didn’t you retire at 65, 75, 85 or even 95? You told me you didn’t want to take the hefty pay cut retirement would bring, and your body and mind were still strong enough to do the job every day. But 100 seems like a nice, round number to hang your hat on and start collecting all that pension money the MTA owes you. “But I won’t be sitting down, no sir,” Arthur said Friday. “Man my age sits down, he might not get up. I’m too smart to sit down. Sit down too long you freeze up. “I won’t be going fishin’, either. Too much sitting down fishin’. I’ll go walking.” You’re a remarkable, funny man, Arthur. A living, breathing piece of L.A. history almost a century old and still sharp as a tack – living in a small home with your grown great-granddaughter only a few miles from the MTA maintenance division named after you. The Los Angeles Unified School District should hire you to make the rounds of schools in this city to give kids the best history lesson they could ever get. And you wouldn’t have to sit down to talk to them, Arthur. The records show you’ve actually been cleaning streetcars and buses in this city for more than 73 years. You had a previous four-year stint as a janitor with the Los Angeles Railway Corp. – 1924 to 1928 – before meeting Frances and getting married. It was tough quitting a job that paid 41 cents an hour in the mid-’20s, but you had promised Frances that you’d find another job because she didn’t like you working nights. So you parked cars in a lot downtown for a few years. You could see the handwriting on the wall anyway, you told me. The job – the career – you really wanted was driving a bus, not cleaning it. But African-Americans weren’t hired for those choice jobs in the ’20s. That would come more than a decade later, but by then you were already back in the transit industry working days cleaning and refueling buses, and spending your nights with Frances and your four kids. They’re all gone now, you told me. You outlived them all. It seems incredible, but MTA officials swear the only day you took off from work, besides vacation time, was one sick day back in 1988. “Frances died on a Saturday, and I took Monday off to take care of business,” Arthur says. You didn’t have to elaborate, Arthur. The look on your face and sound in your voice said it all. Burying your wife counts as sick time, doesn’t it? “Don’t get me wrong, I had my bad days, but there was no use just laying around the house, so I came in.” Your boss, Dana Coffey – MTA’s Metro South Bay Service Sector general manager – calls you her adopted father. An African-American herself, she says you showed her what hard work and dedication could accomplish. What class and dignity looks like up close. “Whenever someone complains the work is too hard, the hours too long, I tell ’em to go see Arthur,” she says. “No one has ever heard Arthur complain. He always tells other employees just do the job and keep it simple.” She’s not upset that you never had that opportunity to drive the buses you were cleaning. If you had, she knows she would have never had the chance to meet you. “It wasn’t his destiny to be a bus operator because he would have had to retire from driving a long time ago,” Coffey said. “His destiny was to work for 73 years, be a service attendant, and an inspiration to everyone who has ever met him.” Don’t anyone get the wrong idea that Arthur lasted this long on the job because people at the MTA were just being nice to him, Coffey adds. He’s still more than pulling his weight at 99. “Arthur’s there to work, not just show up. He’s part of the team. No, scratch that. Arthur is the team.” The MTA has a choir that sings at retirement parties. When Coffey asked Arthur what song he wanted sung at his retirement/100th birthday party, he just smiled. “A rap song,” said the old bus maintenance man who doesn’t think he’s anything special. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Dennis McCarthy, (818) 713-3749 [email protected]last_img read more

Takeaways: Sharks blue line in question as injuries pile up

first_imgDENVER — Joonas Donskoi didn’t need a talk in the coach’s office. He got the message when Pete DeBoer sent him down to the fourth line on Dec. 27.With just one goal and four points in 17 games, Donskoi knew he needed to pick it up.“That was the message itself,” Donskoi said in regards to his fourth line demotion following the Christmas break.When the Sharks returned to action in Edmonton on Dec. 29, DeBoer gave the Finnish forward a vote of confidence, putting him on a newly-formed third …last_img read more

Video: What the Warriors need to do beat the Rockets in Game 4

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceColumnist Dieter Kurtenbach explains what the Golden State Warriors need to do to win Game 4 of the NBA second round playoff series against the Houston Rockets. If they win, they will take control of the series; if they lose, the series will stand at 2-2 and could go the full seven games.The second-half rotations have not been successful in games 2 and 3, and the Warriors need a true ball handler on the floor. With …last_img read more

Eavesdropping as 49ers Shanahan explains receiver woes

first_imgThese are not new issues. The 49ers’ young receivers, … SANTA CLARA — Kendrick Bourne, passes are still coming your way.Dante Pettis, welcome back to the doghouse.That’s one way to interpret the message 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan delivered in the wake of Monday night’s 27-24 overtime defeat, in which Bourne and Pettis each had a pair of untimely drops.On Pettis, Shanahan said Tuesday: “The more he doesn’t take advantage of his opportunities, the less opportunities he gets.”last_img read more

More Oscar glory for South Africa

first_imgJanine ErasmusSouth Africa has again won Oscar honours. Taxi to the Dark Side, produced by South African filmmaker Don Edkins, won the golden statuette for best documentary feature at the 2008 Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday 24 February.Previous South African Oscar laureates include Charlize Theron, who won best actress in 2004 for her searing portrayal of Aileen Wournos – executed in 2002 for murdering six men – in Monster. South African film Tsotsi won best foreign-language film in 2006, while Yesterday was nominated for the award in 2005.Taxi to the Dark Side is part of the global documentary project Why Democracy?, initiated in 2005 with the aim of using film to start a global conversation about democracy. Executive-produced by Edkins and written, directed and narrated by Alex Gibney, it deals with US treatment of prisoners. In 2007 it won the best documentary prize at its premiere at the 2007 Tribeca film festival in New York, and again at the Chicago international film festival.“I am very pleased that Taxi to the Dark Side won because it deals with a very tough political issue,” the South African filmmaker said at the award ceremony. “By awarding the film an Oscar, the Academy has showed it is not scared of films which expose the undemocratic practices of the American government.”Also in the final race for the Oscar was Please Vote for Me by Weijun Chen, another Why Democracy? film produced by Edkins. The film is about an experiment in democracy in China, where eight-year old schoolchildren in Wuhan, central China, campaign for the position of class monitor.Talking about democracyEdkins is the producer and co-ordinator of Why Democracy? which is run by Cape Town-based Steps International. This is a non-profit organisation established by the founders of Steps for the Future, itself an anthology of 38 HIV/Aids-focused films from seven different Southern African countries. The latter project’s patron is veteran South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.Consisting of 10 one-hour documentaries and 18 short films, Why Democracy? had its first global broadcast in October 2007 – partnered locally by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. The estimated audience was 300 million worldwide.Project contributors included independent award-winning filmmakers from around the world, including China, India, Japan, Liberia, USA, Bolivia, Denmark, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Russia, with subjects ranging from US torture methods to the current state of politics in Russia, to the scandal around Islamic cartoons in a Danish provincial newspaper.Spending time in the shadowsTaxi to the Dark Side, which took about 18 months to make, deals with the death of Dilawar, a young Afghan taxi driver who died in 2002 from injuries inflicted by US soldiers while in detention. The first part of the title refers to the victim, and the second part is taken from a quote by US vice president Dick Cheney, who said on television that the fight against Islamic extremism will involve working “the dark side, if you will. We’re going to spend time in the shadows”.In a February 2008 radio interview, writer and narrator Gibney said the taxi driver was apprehended and taken to Bagram air base, a US military facility in northeast Afghanistan. Five days later he was dead.“He was accused of being involved in a rocket attack against an American base,” Gibney said. “In fact, later on, it was learned that the very people who arrested him were responsible for that attack.”Dilawar was never formally charged with any crime, and was never shown to have any connection with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.The hard-hitting film features interviews with a fellow prisoner, reporters, historians, legal experts and US military personnel of both junior and senior ranks. The soldiers interviewed were interrogators and military police stationed at Bagram, and Gibney skilfully manages to convey not only the horror of the incident but also the difficult situation that enlisted soldiers, who were just obeying orders, found themselves in.“They were told that the rules, the old rules that used to apply, the Geneva Conventions, are no longer in effect,” he said. “This was in Afghanistan. And there were a number of rules coming out of the Department of Justice through the Office of Legal Counsel that tried to indicate that perhaps in Afghanistan the rules no longer applied.“So in the field, the message was clear: the gloves are off, do whatever you need to do to get information. And a lot of military people were deeply upset by this, because there are, you know, very clear rules and guidelines that the military has in place in order to forestall and prevent these kind of abuses that we’ve seen, but the administration, the civilian administration, was taking a very different attitude toward these rules and regulations. “Gibney said he felt vindicated when hearing of the film’s nomination, because it was a difficult piece to make.Useful linksWhy Democracy?Steps for the FutureDemocracy Now!The White HouseHuman Rights Watchlast_img read more

Poverty summit gets experts thinking

first_imgRay Maota Rory Brooks is the founder of the Brooks World Poverty Institute which researches methods to reduce and eradicate poverty. Professor Walden Bello is a member of the Philippine House of Representatives and led the discussion on the framework of the MDGs. (Images: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • The Brooks World Poverty Institute +44 0161 306 6436 RELATED ARTICLES • SA hosts World Economic Forum • Research into tropical diseases • China-Africa relations to deepen • SA, US tighten trade relationshipThe inaugural Global Poverty Summit has given experts in global poverty reduction a platform to deliberate on ways in which poverty can be alleviated throughout the world.The summit was held at Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, from 17 -19 January 2011 and is the brainchild of businessman Dr Rory Brooks of the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI), based at the University of Manchester.At the summit, 50 experts on the subject of poverty discussed whether the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Development Agenda talks will be able to reduce poverty in developing countries.Also on the agenda were the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the UN Development Programme. These are a set of goals endorsed in 2000 by nations around the world in an attempt to reduce global poverty by 2015.Brooks said: “Over the last decade, the plight of the poor has come under the microscope and talking about ways to reduce it, is the first step to its reduction.”He added that when funding research into global poverty eradication strategies, it’s vital that the research is able to go on and influence policy, which ultimately produces improved outcomes.“This is why we felt it was important to support this Global Poverty Summit in Johannesburg,” he said.BWPI research director Rorden Wilkinson said: “Johannesburg is a good example of the stark inequalities within the city. That’s why we chose to host the summit here.”Speakers at the summit included Nobel economics laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz; Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development; and David Hulme, professor of development studies at the University of Manchester.Millennium Development GoalsIn 2000 world leaders signed the Millennium Declaration from which eight MDGs were drawn. Leaders accepted collective responsibility to reduce poverty in their own countries as well as globally.The MDGs are:to eradicate extreme poverty and hungerachieve universal primary educationpromote gender equality and empower womenreduce child mortalityimprove maternal healthcombat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseasesensure environmental sustainabilitydevelop a global partnership for development.“The MDGs have been a success because they have provided the moral underpinning and have catalysed collective action,” said Hulme. “It is vital that we all continue to strive to meet the targets set out in the MDGs, but the MDGs represent a bare minimum of what needs to be done to reduce poverty and halt the growth in inequality.”At the summit, delegates reached a consensus that for MDGs to succeed, especially in Africa, it was necessary to establish national plans specific to individual countries.Trade talksDiscussing the impact of the Doha round of talks on food security, delegates endorsed a proposal that countries should have the right to implement measures to combat food price volatility.“The Doha Development Agenda negotiations started a decade ago but they have yet to bring any meaningful contribution to reducing poverty,” said Stiglitz. “It is time to bring the talks to a close, but successfully doing so requires courage and sacrifice by the rich countries. They’ve got to accept that they are going to have to pay for the change.”Wilkinson said: “No industrial country got to where it is today without significant state intervention. Global trade negotiations need to recognise this reality.”The delegates also came to the conclusion that trade rules cannot be applied equally to rich and poor countries, but that there should be provision for countries at different stages of development.For example, developed countries could grant duty-free and quota-free access to their markets for least developed countries, and these developed countries could also boost the export capacity of lesser countries through trade assistance.Other topics under discussion included intellectual property rights and agriculture.The Brooks World Poverty InstituteEstablished in 2006, the Brooks World Poverty Institute is based at the University of Manchester, where Rory Brooks graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in management sciences.BWPI founder Brooks also runs MML Capital, an investment firm which has invested over US$1.4-billion (R9.8-billion) in more than 70 emerging companies across Europe and the US.Brooks and his wife Elizabeth support various causes, including the Institute of Cancer Research in London.BWPI aims to create and share knowledge that will help eradicate poverty and inequality in the North and South; and to bring about change in international policies that foster poverty.last_img read more

TNT deals Alaska yet another defeat

first_imgTrailing practically all of Friday night, TNT KaTropa did all the right things in the endgame on both ends and dealt Alaska another painful defeat, 107-106, in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Fajardo still ready to play in Fiba Asia Cup if calf injury improves MOST READ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ LATEST STORIES Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Craig still went on to lead the Texters with 28 points, with Pogoy finishing with 25 after making a career-high seven triples.LeDontae Henton led the Aces with 42 points, but missed what would have been the game-winning running jumper near the buzzer.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. RR Pogoy scored 16 points in the fourth period, Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo knocked down crucial jumpers and the Texters rallied even with import Michael Craig leaving the game as TNT rose to 2-1.Alaska blew leads as large as 14 points and dropped to 0-4 this conference, its streak for futility now up to 12 games dating back to the last conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe 13th game in that streak would be Blackwater on Aug. 23.“We knew all along that Alaska is becoming a very dangerous team [despite their losing streak],” TNT coach Nash Racela said. “Despite the situation they are in, I think it will just be a matter of time before they win again. I just didn’t want that to happen in this game.”last_img read more